These past 22 days I have been building a blog called statictvblog.com to promote my soon to be published vampire book, “Switching Stations, Switching Stories.” I began on February 24th and had the blog live by the end of February. This did not include setting up search engine optimization or web master tools, which I finished on March 7th. To have included these things in a very short time line would have been insane.
I began by buying the URL from Go Daddy and then I talked with a technician who got me through the step-by-step process so I could begin building the blog on WordPress.org. This required spending a bit more money to do hosting and a few more things so Go Daddy and WordPress.org could be connected. Once I reached the point where I was connected to WordPress.org I began going through the “Get Started Directions.” At first it was easy, then things got harder and I had to turn to the Support Forum. I kept the necessary browser windows open so I could go back and forth between them and the WordPress.org administration pages. I set up the Menu, Categories, and Pages. Then I found out about a Static Page so I went back and did this. Having put up the first post and tested the blog I found out everything was showing on the front page.
I went back to the support forum, then I made phone calls, first to a woman I know who created a blog through WordPress.com, then a man I knew who is very tech savvy. Then I called my sister-in-law, and then I tried Google Plus and found a WordPress group. I struck out with all of them. Finally I connected with a gentleman named Mark C, owner of the group Imperfect Writers of G+ who believed my issues could get resolved. He wrote advising me to be in touch with a man named Randy W, owner of iHelpers.NET. He is a WordPress.com and WordPress.org wizard and, he made Mark C.’s blog. I found Randy and added him to my Wise One, Google Plus circle. I thought it would ensure my message would get through.
Unfortunately the next morning there was no message. I went to work and later on connected with the woman I had tried to reach the day before and showed her my problems. She took my lap top and went through everything and even looked at the Support Forum. It turned out WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org. What she did to create her blog would not work to make mine. Uh-oh!
During my lunch break I checked my e-mail but still no message from Randy. So I went back to Randy’s profile and found another e-mail address and tried that. It turned out for some strange reason my message in Google + never made it to its destination but, the alternate e-mail address worked. Success!
Via a few e-mails, I gave Randy the information he needed so he could access my WordPress account. He took a look and saw I had done things out of order and assured me it was definitely fixable. Yay! I had no idea there was an order of operations to building a WordPress.org blog. In all the research I did either my brain was still overly tired from the previous day’s efforts or steps 1, 2, and 3 etc., were not clearly stated by WordPress.org. Or WordPress.org does not bother to mention it. I let him tell me what was wrong and what to do going forward. He did some things for me and other things he talked me through over the phone. An hour or so after we were done my blog was healthy and every item stayed on the designated pages.
I was very happy and said so on the social media websites Google +, Twitter, and Goodreads. I wanted to let others know how wonderful I felt about the blog fix and who helped me get to the point I reached. I also wrote that this was just the beginning and there was more to come. Getting the blog done was the hardest part. This statement may have been premature but when I look back today, it was not, it was accurate.
I have since moved on to more things such as search engine optimization, web master tools, finding and loading various plug ins, to make both items work, and adding and connecting to social media sites. I went through different levels of the emotions I previously mentioned but it was not nearly as horrible as the blog experience.
Given how I just described the blog experience, one might ask why didn’t I throw in the towel and admit defeat? It all goes back to the emotions and feelings I expressed in my first blog post titled “A Vampire Book Really?” I am driven and determined to succeed after four years of working on “Switching Stations, Switching Stories” and reading other writers’ blogs.
I want to reach my goal of sharing my first book. It is COMPLETE. The book has a beginning, middle, and end that flow together and make sense. How could I possibly let this go dormant like other pieces I have written through the years? I couldn’t and wouldn’t. I want people to know about my book and read it and feel some of the things I have felt on my first book journey. I further want to feel the things other writers have written about and to do some of the things they did to reach sales of their own books.
So yes, it was worth everything from the beginning to this point. There will be some of the same emotions occurring again but I do not expect it to be at the same agree as what I felt getting the blog up. And if I am to be so bold, I am learning new things and correcting my new knowledge where I need to and giving myself new skills. I also saved myself money by not hiring more professionals to do what I did with help that was free.
My finances are not nearly as strong as those of either my parents or my older brother. While I could afford a URL, the hosting, and an editor for my book, I knew I couldn’t afford to pay a professional to make the blog for me and also do the SEO etc. I needed to save money and do as much as I could on my own.
Am I completely done? No. I will be checking the SEO, the webmaster tools, checking things again on the blog with each post, and on and on to be sure that everything is running smoothly. Without doing this work going forward, I risk finding out about a problem later when I could have learned about it sooner. Plus I have more important things to do. I still have a day job and my soon to be book takes second place. Yes, as I wrote I want it to be a writing success, but I am co-owner in my family’s internet retail business, and this is the source of my income. I need to put it first.
There are some people who feel they need to struggle in order to better focus on what they truly want whether it is to become an actor, a painter, or as I am doing, a writer. I don’t think this way. I feel it is important to have a career and a job that earns money and keeps me comfortable. I am happily self-employed. My parents did not reach this point until they were in their 50s. I got to this point when I was in my 20s. I am in my mid-thirties and I do not know many people who can state they became self-employed so young.
I have learned much from my parents and the family business. No, not everything with the blog and a writing career is the same, but there are a few similarities that helped my drive and determination to get through all the rough stuff. If there are more tough areas I can recall how I made it through the beginning days it to get through anything in the future. For now I will enjoy all my accomplishments and pat myself on the shoulder for getting to this point. It is a great feeling!